Lollapalooza Review: Everything Else.

This is it, that's all, that's it.

I just realized I'm a sexist: of the 14 acts I saw and rated, the bottom four were those that featured female lead singers. And, I probably would've rated the Yeah Yeah Yeah's higher had I been close enough to better see lead singer Karen O in her leather dominatrix outfit.

I actually really enjoyed the Blonde Redhead show ... except for the fact that there was this weird older dude behind the stage trying to dance but he was just distracting. It looked like he was playing Air-Piano with his hands on an invisible piano even though Blonde Redhead features no pianist of any kind. It was kinda funny watching him groove along to the music ... then not know what to do when Blonde Redhead went off and did something weird - as they're wont to do, since they're more Sonic Youth than Snow Patrol. Oh, and the Asian lead singer is really hot, but that's not what stood out. Likewise, it isn't the fact that they're the skinniest band in rock music - shit, the three of them couldn't weigh more than 250 pounds combined; those twin male members really must've Kramered their way into those jeans they were wearing. No, what stood out is their lead guitarist, who's talented for all the wrong reasons. He's no virtuoso, he's no Jimi Hendrix or Stevie Ray Vaughn. He's not even that guy from The Roots. But, he leads the song into a nice jamming direction ... and then he kicks off with a thud of a guitar solo that completely disorients the listener and takes him out of his comfort zone. It's quite genius really; see, you're expecting him to raise up like a modern day Eddie Van Halen ... and then he comes at you like modern day Madonna. But, just to prove that he isn't just a crap guitarist, later on he showed that he's got those Van Halen riffs in him, he just chooses to leave them to the Arena bands.

You should've heard Amy Winehouse sleepwalk through "Rehab". It nearly had me hoping for a Jay-Z cameo followed by a full Jay-Z set while she sat there looking pretty. I don't know why she got the buzz she did at South By Southwest down in Austin, but she definitely did NOT bring her A-game to Lollapalooza. And yet, all I've been reading about is how amazing her "pipes" are (I'm assuming that's because after her set she went off and fucked every man woman and child who had access to a media outlet?). She wasn't terrible, but there's a reason she ranked 14th out of the 14 acts I saw.

The Polyphonic Spree were simply a joy to behold. They consist of something like 257 members, including a flautist, a six-girl backup choir, a harp player, a cellist, two or three drummers, two or three guitarists ... and I don't even know what else, all behind their ringleader, Tim DeLaughter. Symphonic Rock at its finest, they came out behind a red cloth band and the lead singer cut a giant heart out of the middle before they kicked into their intense, rollicking set. Then, after a half hour or so, as each and every member of the band contributed their own musical sound, one by one they started walking off the stage until only the harp player flicked her strings and the audience continued the lead singer's refrain. Silence briefly followed before, from the right side of the stage, each member in a long line - clothed in newly-attired white robes - walked a path through the audience (close enough for me to smack them upside the head, actually), then got back up on stage and finished the show. It was glorious. I don't know any of the songs they played - except for a cover of Nirvana's "Lithium" - but I couldn't help feeling the love of music in my marrow. See them. Now! They might be a cult, but I don't care. They're wonderful (and for some reason I feel the intense desire to buy Nike shoes and drink lots of Kool Aid).

So, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs have a fourth member now? What's up with that? I wonder if the drummer keeps a diary and says things like, "Dear Diary, Karen looked so hot tonight on stage ... I wish she liked me :( And that New Guy is really starting to tick me off ... if he thinks he's playing on any of our older songs, he's got another thing coming!"

Finally: Things I Learned While Attending Lollapalooza

* STS9 is the greatest band I'd never heard until I accidentally stumbled upon them while on my way to The Roots.

* Chicago Style Pizza has nothing on New York's Pizza. And, apparently sausage - not pepperoni - is the primary meat topping for Chicagoans.

* Vegan ice cream is just as good, if not better, than cow-murdering ice cream.

* If you're not careful, you'll end up burning one side of your body as a result of seeing bands that face the same direction in reference to Mr. Sun.

* It's possible to be good friends with people and see two exact opposite Lollapaloozas in the same three-day period.

* The Roots were better than I could've possibly imagined and My Morning Jacket is totally overrated as a live act.

* ?uestlove just might be the greatest active drummer alive.

* The lead singer of LCD Soundsystem is probably the most self-aware lead singer alive, mostly thanks to his observation: "Why do singers ask if the audience is ready? Shouldn't it really be, 'Are WE ready'?" before shrugging an answer to his own question. Plus, he's a pudgy guy with a lisp and the only instrument he plays is the cowbell, on occasion. More reasons to adore this band.

* Now I REALLY want to take some ecstacy and go see a DJ spin 90 minutes worth of music.

* I missed Eddie Vedder singing "Masters of War" during Ben Harper's set ... and I fear the moment will forever be lost unless a generous YouTuber does me a solid.

* If you're a die hard PJ fan, for some reason you know when Ben Harper is going to perform an unscheduled solo show at the KIDZ stage at 1:45 in the afternoon on Day 3.

* Regina Spektor doesn't really translate well to a large festival type atmosphere; but I'd gladly pay you Tuesday for a gig at a place that holds less than 500 people.

* I really should've walked over and caught half of moe.'s set. That was my only real Jam Band chance of the entire weekend!

* I can't wait to go to either Bonnaroo (held in early June every year in Tennessee) or Coachella (held in late April every year in Indio, CA) next year